Archive for category Roxette

Roxers’ favourite Roxette studio album covers

Some days ago we asked you to list your Top3 favourite Roxette studio album covers. We got a lot of comments and after the collage had been shared both on Roxette’s official Facebook page and Instagram account, there were even more votes. It seemed to be obvious which covers would end up at the Top3 positions, but I was curious about the exact results. It’s of course not a representative sample, but who else could judge Roxette’s album covers better than Roxers?

After checking all the comments, I counted the votes / mentions and found out the Top2 were indeed quite obvious. Most people voted for Joyride and Look Sharp!. I would say the difference between the number of votes is so tiny, the 2 covers are equally strong. The third position is occupied by Crash! Boom! Bang!, but Tourism was very close to become the third as well. The difference is quite small here, too. The 5th best cover according to Roxers is that of Room Service.

The remaining 4 covers are well behind any of those in the Top5. No surprise poor Travelling (which was released 4 years ago today, by the way) is at the end of the list. I remember how excited we all were about the new album in 2011 and 2012 and when the cover was shared on Facebook, tons of us first thought it was a joke and that it couldn’t be the final design. Not that it wasn’t funny to see BoJo on the sleeve, but… ehm… Then we decided, OK if the content is awesome, we don’t really care about the cover. The songs turned out to be fab, so the sin made with the album cover was forgiven, so to say.

We like busy covers only if there is a real concept behind them (see Tourism) and we love professional, artistic photos of Marie and Per on the sleeve. We are not into weird Photoshop attempts (see Travelling) and busy covers with seemingly no concept behind them (see Charm School). Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing such non-pro pics, but it works much better on social media sites or in books than on album covers.

These days when music is consumed rather digitally, it might be even more important to have a great cover to catch the attention of those who still go and buy CDs at record shops. Come to think of it, even for digital use it is important to have a good-looking sleeve. At least I prefer seeing a clear, eye-catching cover pic on Spotify and similar sites when I listen to music either on computer or on my smartphone.

So anyone in charge of the upcoming album cover design, please make an attractive one! Now you can see which directions Roxers prefer. 😉

 

Roxette_studio_album_covers

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Video to the new Roxette single

As you could read in our article this morning, Per starts a radio podcast on 24th March. A great chance to practice your Swedish by listening to 2 nerds chatting about music.

Today Per visited Swedish Radio P4 Halland and talked about the podcast. In the short interview he also mentioned that he is busy with other things as well. Besides that he started his own record label Space Station 12, there are also a lot of things happening around Roxette. The new album is out in summer, the single is out in April and he confirmed there will be a video to the single which they are shooting next week. Too cool!

Another interesting thing Mr. G mentioned is that they are playing 18 shows in Europe this summer. We know about 14 dates so far, so there are at least 4 more to come. Sounds promising!

Listen to Per HERE!

PG_P4_Halland_02  PG_P4_Halland_01

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Official videos are moved to Roxette YouTube channel

You probably remember when in May 2014 suddenly almost all official Roxette videos were set to private on EMI’s YouTube channel. It was quite weird, because even Per posted ”We are just as surprised as you are!!! However…we’re working on it!!!! /P.” It wasn’t only Roxette that faced the issue. Many other bands had the same problem during those times. We were afraid the vids and their view counts would get lost, since it seemed that the handover between EMI and Warner didn’t include the videos on YouTube. Fortunately, 2 months later the videos were set back to public.

Then in March 2015 the videos disappeared again. Some days later the official Roxette YouTube channel was set up and Marie & Per invited us in a lovely welcome video to subscribe. At the same time, all videos were set back to public, but still on emimusic channel.

Now it seems a great solution could be found to move all official videos from emimusic channel to Roxette channel with having the same link to the videos and not losing the view counts either. Well done!!!

1 month ago It Must Have Been Love reached 100 million views and now it’s over 106 million. Pure awesomeness! Keep on watching the videos, Roxers!

Hopefully, there will be new content, too. How about a new video clip? Maybe to the new single? Let’s see what happens!

Subscribe and watch the videos HERE!

rox_youtube

 

Tags: , ,

Per Gessle’s guitar pick haute couture

The last time the PLECtionary got updated was in August 2015, right before the last show of the European tour leg. Now one tour leg later, an update is due again. We hoped for new picks for the South African shows, but we couldn’t be sure there would be any new plectrums until Per posted the photo of the guitar pick they designed especially for South Africa (Roxette FB, Per IG, Roxette IG).

107_SK_600x339It wasn’t clear at first sight whether it was only one pick and Mr. G showed the 2 sides of it or it was 2 different picks, but soon it turned out they got back to the roots, making it more limited, so it’s only one pick with the South African flag on one side and GESSLE ON THE ROXXX on the other side. Looking good! Haute couture, as the master says.

Sandra was there in South Africa and she could now take photo of it to include the plec (No. 107) in the PLECtionary. More than that, thanks to her we can also add Per’s guitar technician’s, Micke N-S’s new pick (No. 108) and in the meantime Sandra could obtain one of the Night of the Proms plectrums (No. 26) she had been looking for since a long time, so it’s now in the PLECtionary as well.

Besides these 3 new additions, you will find a separate section for the misprinted picks. The misprinted ones mean something went wrong during the production and e.g. the design or the text is missing on one side. With this update you see 2 misprinted plecs, No. 77 and No. 96.

Huge thanks again for the updates, Sandra!

See the PLECtionary HERE!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Roxette reached 100 million views of It Must Have Been Love

Roxette’s official video to It Must Have Been Love was uploaded to emimusic YouTube channel on 4th March 2009. Today, almost 7 years later the video reached 100 million views! Awesomeness! 100 million views!

IMHBL_100_million_viewsAs we all know, the ballad started out as a Christmas song with the title It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted), recorded in 1987. Roxette’s German record company suggested them to write a Christmas song, to help the duo get played on German radio. It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted) was a hit in Sweden, but German stations still refused to play Roxette. This is how Per remembers it:

EMI Germany asked us to make a Xmas record. “It’s gonna be easier for you guys to get airplay in this market”, they said. Danke Schön. So I wrote It Must Have Been Love and made a slightly clumsy demo. We then recorded it properly with Marie and Clarence at the brand new digital Audio Sweden Studio in Stockholm, released it in Sweden and had a huge Xmas hit! Germany? Nah, they didn’t want it! No release there. Sorry guys, next time…

The video to the original version of the song was shot also in 1987. As Per says:

It was made for a Swedish Chart-show called “Listan” and was later used a semi-official video-clip. Low budgets. High hair. My Veillette-Citron guitar is present!

Regarding how Pretty Woman came in sight, Mr. G says:

After we had made it in the US with The Look and Listen To Your Heart, we got invited to write a song for the Pretty Woman-movie (it was called something else at the time, can’t remember what…)* But I didn’t have any time left since we were busy doing promo all over the world, so we offered them It Must Have Been Love with slightly new lyrics (Christmas day became winter’s day). Life was never the same again.

*[3,000 Dollars – it was the title of the script back then. PP]

IMHBL_01_rs  IMHBL_02_rs

Garry Marshall, the director of the movie liked It Must Have Been Love and called Per after 3-4 months and said he just had to call him to tell he loved the song so much he even re-edited the movie, because he didn’t want any dialogue during the song being played. He wanted the song to speak for itself. Per didn’t really know what Garry was talking about since he hadn’t seen the film, but a couple of months later the movie came out and it became a blockbuster. With this, It Must Have Been Love became a blockbuster, too. Per says:

It shows that you have to have the song and you also have to have a little bit of luck and you have to be in the right position at the right time, which is really rare for anyone in any profession. It’s all about timing. It was exactly the same song in 1987 when no German station wanted to play it. Of course we made a new intro to it, rerecorded it and Humberto Gatica, the hippest mixing engineer at the time, used his ‘lucky snare’ on it, but the song was the same.

Of course the song had to get a proper video clip and so the second video which became the official one was shot in a warehouse. According to Marie, shooting the video was a weird experience:

The director wanted all movements in slow motion so I had to lip sync the vocals in double speed. My first lesson in how to sing an emotional ballad Mickey Mouse style. A strange way to make a living.

IMHBL_03_rs  IMHBL_04_rs

It Must Have Been Love became Roxette’s third No. 1 in the US and spent two weeks at this position on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1990. Billboard magazine listed the song as the No. 2 Hot 100 single of the year. The single also topped the charts in more than 20 other countries around the world.

This is what Marie says about the Billboard success:

Our third #1 in the U.S. … not bad for a song that was lying around, gathering dust.

Not bad indeed. There are different versions of the song on several Roxette records. It’s an obvious track on the greatest hits albums and we still can’t get enough of it. It can’t be missed on the live setlist on tours and we love hearing the intro talk to it:

It started out as a Christmas song in the ’80s and found its way to hot hot Hollywood!

A fantastic crowd sing along is always guaranteed!

The song’s unbreakable success is also shown by the number of American radio plays. Per got BMI’s Million-Air Award for 4 million plays in 2005 and for 5 million plays in 2014.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of It Must Have Been Love, a limited edition vinyl single was released in May 2015.

The hit is a real evergreen. Many try to do covers and participate in different talent shows with the song, but no one can make such outstanding versions as Roxette themselves and sing it from the deep bottom of the heart as Marie does.

Wishing many more hundreds of millions of views and radio plays, as well as further heartwarming sing alongs all around the world!

 

Tags: , , , ,

Roxette Diaries at the Berlinale

As we posted about it some days ago, LevelK, a sales company handling international sales and distribution and managing the distribution rights for quality films and TV productions worldwide started to deal with the Roxette Diaries. They bring the documentary as part of their Berlin International Film Festival line-up.

They describe the docu as:

The extraordinary pop documentary ROXETTE DIARIES that through self shot video material presents an intimate portrait and an unique insight into the world of one of the 80’s and 90’s biggest pop bands.

Roxette Diaries is in clear focus. Roxette appears on the cover of LevelK’s festival magazine (click HERE to download) in which you can find 2 pages about the docu, including Rox pics from the past.

Nice promo for this long-awaited film, which is set to be released on 7th March. Now it’s out really soon.

 

rox_diaries_levelk_1_rs  rox_diaries_levelk_2_rs

Thanx for finding the magazine, Roxette Cafe.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Roxette XXX Tour – Cape Town, South Africa (Grand Arena Grand West) – February 8 – #66

After yesterday’s sold out success in Cape Town, Roxette did another show in the city tonight. The difference in the set up was that now there was no standing area with golden circle possibility, but there were seats at the place where yesterday everyone was jumping and dancing without any disturbing chairs around. We hoped the crowd wouldn’t be distracted by the seats and do their best at the second Cape Town gig as well. Well, let’s say the energy ratio wasn’t equal on and off the stage. How can you sit still during How Do You Do!? Seats and security team are to blame again. With Joyride everyone was allowed to stand up and go closer to the stage and then the party was on, but the clapping and sing-alongs at least were loud and constant during the whole concert.

roxette_in_cape_town_2nd_night_pic_by_Marie_Sidorova

Pic by Marie Sidorova

In Cape Town one could see what a difference seats can make. One night party, one night relax. Not on stage though. The Rox gang was full of energy even if there was no day off after last night’s show. Marie was in top form, shining all night, rocking the audience with all the power in her voice. Per did his adorable circles, fab guitar fights with Chris and his trademark left leg stomping.

Mr. G after the show:

XXX GIG #68 CAPE TOWN DAY TWO. Oh yeah! Wonderful evening and a crowd that got going like nothing else after How Do You Do! Thanx everyone for making this South African tour a splendid memory for all of us. We love to perform here and hope to come back. You know that! Cheers! /P.
PS. Vids tomorrow.

With this the South African tour leg came to an end. 5 great concerts of which 2 were sold out. Not bad, huh? Next stop is Stars of Sounds festival in Murten, Switzerland on 3rd June. Or maybe not. Who knows how many dates will still be added to the 2016 European leg. Our May is completely empty, you know…

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17;

Videos
Instavids:
The Big L.
How Do You Do! teaser
How Do You Do!: 1; 2;
The Look
The bow and waving goodbye

Setlist

roxette_in_cape_town_2nd_night_pic_by_Johan_Breytenbach

Pic by Johan Breytenbach

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Tags: , , , ,

Roxette XXX Tour – Cape Town, South Africa (Grand Arena Grand West) – February 7 – #65

Cape Town. The city that was lucky enough one world tour earlier to welcome the band with 3 sold out shows in 2011 and a year later yet another gig was organized there. The first Cape Town show during the XXX tour got sold out already in October 2015, so an extra date had to be added as the last concert of the South African tour leg.

The venue had a standing area with a cozy golden circle, so after seeing what effect no seats had in Port Elizabeth, we expected at least the standing part of the crowd to party. And they did, already during the opening song! Then other uptempo songs made those who had tickets for the seated area stand up too and join the joyride. The sound of the arena wasn’t the best, it was too low at some parts of the venue. The crowd was loud and the sing-alongs turned out to be fantastic. People loved to hear the greatest Rox hits.

Marie’s performance was full of passion, Per’s energy was undescribable, the band was rocking, so all in all, Roxette put on yet another ass-kicking show.

Per after the Cape Town party:

XXX GIG #67 CAPE TOWN. Voila! Very nice indeed. Super crowd and a still going strong band having a field day at the Grand Arena in CT. Thanx everyone for showing up and making this yet another sold out + unbelievable Sunday evening for this humble band. Gig #2 in CT tomorrow. Cheers, P.

Roxette stays in the city for a Monday gig (8th February). The show will happen at the same venue.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19;
Big Concerts (Desmond Louw’s photos): 1; 2; 3; 4;
Channel24 – Nardus Engelbrecht photos

Videos
Instavids:
Sleeping In My Car
Spending My Time
How Do You Do!: 1; 2;
It Must Have Been Love
Listen To Your Heart

Setlist

roxette_in_CapeTown_0207

Pic by marizavdw

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Roxette XXX Tour – Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium) – February 5 – #64

Port Elizabeth fans had to wait 21 years to see Roxette live again. It was an open air gig and the weather was predicted to be very windy, but it’s usual in PE, so even the stadium admins posted before the show ”come rain or shine the concert will go on”. There was nothing to worry about.

People brought their blankets and while waiting for the show to start they were sitting on the grass in the sun eating and drinking. By the time Watershed hit the stage it was already dark and it got colder.

Being cold, it was surprising that Marie didn’t have the heaters set up in front of her. She was wearing a warmer jacket, so hopefully, she wasn’t freezing that much. At least you wouldn’t tell by her performance, which was nothing else but brilliant again. Per’s wind blown hair was rocking just as much as he himself was. The band was on a high as well.

The crowd was far much better than at the last 2 shows. Blame it on the fact that there were no seats at all! Woohoo! People of course knew all the lyrics and were singing along during the whole concert. They were clapping hard and also swaying their hips and jumping frequently. Such a crowd gives even more energy to the band and they appreciate it.

Per’s long comment after the superb show:

XXX GIG #66 PORT ELIZABETH. Wow! Outdoors! A standing crowd, no chairs in sight! And soooooo many people (10.000? I don’t know…)! We haven’t played P.E. for 21 years and get a reception like this! What can we say? WOW!
Super enthusiastic crowd and a band in fine form made this something very special to remember! Thanx everyone for showing up and making us feel like the biggest band in the world! Once again! Love! /P.

Next stop is Cape Town on Sunday (7th February). The show is so sold out that another date had to be added for the day after at the same venue.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;
Mark Andrews photos

Videos

It Must Have Been Love crowd sing-along

Instavids:
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride: 1; 2;
Listen To Your Heart

Setlist

roxette_in_port_elizabeth

Pic by Tiina Pitkänen

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Tags: , , , ,

Roxette XXX Tour – Durban, South Africa (ICC Arena) – February 2 – #63

Yep, #63. You might be wondering why our numbers differ from what Mr. G gives the shows. It’s not that we have problems with Maths. It’s that we give numbers only to real XXX concerts, while Per also counts corporate gigs. There were 2 of them last year, so that’s why Johannesburg was #64 and Durban #65 for him. In the Tele2 corporate gig article we wrote more in details about it, so check it out, if you want to understand our point of view. We stick to our numbering system, so sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.

Now about the show in Durban, regardless the number it got. The arena wasn’t completely full, but it was quite packed with people representing all generations. It was again a seated event with some better looking chairs than those in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, the system was almost the same in Durban. The audience got stuck to their seats being hesitant about standing up. No, standing up at a Roxette gig is not dumb. Not at all! At least the magic uptempo hits got many people on their feet. Also, it can never go wrong with the clapping choreography in Dressed For Success. The crowd was in for fun this time as well and from Joyride on they didn’t sit down, but people were even more reserved than in Joburg. Hey guys and girls, after Joyride there are only 2 songs left… Next time start the party already at the first chord in Sleeping In My Car!

The show had its effect on the audience anyway. They loved the great sound, the fab lighting and what Roxette is about live: 100% live music + 120% energy (on stage). The whole band was rocking, Marie inspired the crowd with her voice, strength and presence and Per was bouncing around much, hitting the right strings, playing the correct chords. People lost their voices by the end of the concert and The Look was definitely a highlight. It’s still the best closing song, I would say.

Mr. Griesel’s thoughts after the show:

DURBAN UPDATE: Oh yea, a great evening with loads of ppl in a very hot and sweaty Durban. Lovely crowd and a very focused band made this night one to remember. We had a blast. Thanx everyone for showing up and singing along. Vids by Åsa coming up tomorrow. /P.

Next stop is Port Elizabeth on Friday (5th February). Let’s see what happens at a show-with-no-seats-around in South Africa! C’mon people, time to start partying! It’s only 3 gigs left in your country.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;
Big Concerts photos: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;
Julian Carelsen Photography
Underground Press review
Jed Kenny Photography

Videos
Instavids:
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Setlist

roxette_in_durban_pics_by_Big_Concerts

Pics (1, 2) by BIG Concerts

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Tags: , , , ,

Roxette XXX Tour – Johannesburg, South Africa (Ticketpro Dome) – January 31 – #62

5 months passed since the last XXX gig happened in Drammen and now Roxette found themselves in South Africa. The band is there to perform 5 shows. How great it is to start the real XXX anniversary year with a sold out gig in Johannesburg!

It wasn’t the first time Roxette played in the city. First they appeared there during the Crash! Boom! Bang! World Tour in 1995 and played for 60000 people. Fortunately, that concert was filmed and the Crash! Boom! Live! video was born. However, we would still love to have it as a DVD release. The 2nd time the band performed in Joburg was in 2012. Now 4 years later Roxette was back at Ticketpro Dome to entertain 13000 people.

Some hours before showtime Mr. G posted a pic on Instagram from backstage to show us all the boxes of their gear. He then posted on Roxette’s Facebook page about his virtues:

JOHANNESBURG UPDATE: Great long soundcheck. Loads of mistakes from yours truly. Will I ever learn the chords to Dangerous??? Time will tell. See you soon, folks! /P.

Dea and Mister Magnus also shared pics on Instagram (Dea, Magnus) of what they saw during soundcheck from the stage. And after the show Dea posted a nice collage of the preparations on her Facebook page.

roxette_in_johannesburg_pic_by_Johan_Breytenbach

Pic by Johan Breytenbach

Families, couples, friends gathered at the venue, different generations attended the concert to fulfill their childhood dream or check something off their bucket list. First the crowd saw Watershed on stage, they were the support act. The audience enjoyed their performance, which is good, because they will open for Roxette at the next 4 shows as well. Roxette hit the stage a bit after 21:15 local time.

The arena was fully packed as it was a sold out show. There were two big screens on the sides to make sure no one in the very back misses what happens on stage. Funny how the seats were tied to each other. We thought it was useless, since no one would have wanted to use them. Oh well… Security guys were the least cooperative and they didn’t let people stand up. They were asking people (not too politely) to sit down all the time. Big Concerts should work on it at the remaining seated shows and tell them to let anyone stand up. When it’s boogie time, it’s boogie time, you know. It was this time only from Joyride on when everyone was on their feet.

Marie, Per and the band were in top form like there was no tour break. They were full of energy and charmed their loud crowd. Besides Joburgers and South Africans from other cities, there were Roxers from Germany, Australia, Poland, Russia, Finland, the UK, etc. as well. Always good to have an international crowd!

The setlist didn’t change vs. 2015, so this means all evergreens were performed and also Crush On You was kept.

Blinds seem to be efficient to bring along only in Europe, since they were not present in Joburg. There were curtains in the background instead and the lights were projected on them.

Per’s words after the show:

JOBURG TONIGHT: Yes yes yes, what a crowd. Great evening, band was really tight even though we haven’t played together for a couple of months. Thanx for stopping by and singing along. Always a pleasure to be here, Joburg!!!! Vids coming up. /P.

Next stop is Durban on Tuesday (2nd February).

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16;
Twitter: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;
Big Concerts photos: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;
Gallo Images
rexfeatures.com
Getty Images
El Broide’s review
DK Expressions
ourfriends.co

Videos

Instavids:
Dressed For Success
Joyride
Dangerous
The Look

Setlist

roxette_in_johannesburg_pic_by_Sandra_Knospe

Pic by Sandra Knospe

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Scatterlings of Africa – Johnny Clegg)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Tags: , , , , ,

Thank you for the music and inspiration, David Bowie

This is a very personal blog post to thank David Bowie for the music and for the inspiration.

bowieAs you probably now, David Bowie passed away on January 10th. It was a sad day for music world and everybody was very shocked. As for me, I had been listening to “Blackstar“, his new album which had been released on January 8th, the whole weekend. I had been looking forward to it since the first single was out in November (and some teasers the year before). And finally on “release Friday” there it was. It felt fresh, new, jazzy, I loved the drums!, the voice, the lyrics were mysterious again but felt defying, intriguing, strong. Sad too. I found the videos to Blackstar and Lazarus very mysterious and at times disturbing and sad. But I just thought it was his way to shock and be artistic in his way.

Monday morning I woke up humming one of the tunes, Lazarus. And then I just read the post on Facebook about him passing away. I was like what? No, NO, he just released an album. Can’t be. Like many others, I checked Twitter, news, comments of fans, the majority not believing it and thought the FB account had been hacked, that it was a hoax and bad joke. Minutes later his son Duncan confirmed it on Twitter. And all the pieces from his album fell into place, suddenly.

And since then I have been in a strange state. Shocked, thoughtful, sad, in disbelief, kind of lost, grieving. And I have spent hours trying to find out why. Probably there is no clear answer, just some thoughts that I had to put down in writing in a way to say thank you. For the influence, music, inspiration, artistry, love for music, innovation, daring to be different…

I actually got into Bowie’s music “for real” back in 2012 when he released “Where are we now?” from the then upcoming album “The Next Day”. I don’t remember how I read/heard about the release of the album, somebody (Per?) must have posted it on FB, or maybe I just saw it on Spotify. I was fascinated by the single, what a strong song, what lyrics, the voice, how the instruments fit together. Magic. So I then started to listen to his other albums. Sure, I knew many of the songs, but most of it was new to me. It was then that a new world opened up for me.

Bowie had always been in my life in a way or another. On one hand, I remember he was on TV, the Freddy Mercury tribute, but I guess I didn’t understand him back then, maybe was too young or thought he was weird, because I really didn’t listen to his music besides the known singles. But at the same time, I felt fascination, respect because he dared to be like that.

On the other hand, he was present mainly because I got to hear about him through my (music) heroes (Marie, Eva D, Per) and other artists that have impacted/inspired me (Nirvana/Kurt Cobain, Melissa Etheridge, Europe, to mention some). My favourite artists mentioned him here and there, whenever they talked about their youth, their roots.  They count him as a big influence when they grew up, when they started to make music. I remember comments from Per and Eva the most. I cannot repeat the exact words, but it felt like for both he seemed to be a (the?) reference person for daring to be how they were back in the 70ies, 80ies. Seemed to be the one who helped them accept to be different, themselves. Just how they have helped me. This is how I see it at least (see at the bottom for a collection of references/tributes to David Bowie by Per and other artists).

When you listen to his music you understand why, or at least you can try. If now his music sounds (still) daring and even innovative, imagine how it must have sounded back in the 70ies and 80ies. And what it must have been to hold albums like Space Oddity, Aladdin Sane or Hunky Dory in your hands, play them. Not to talk about his outfits and looks. Pure innovation and reinvention. And as his last album showed us, until the end. I would dare to say that he has experiemented with all styles of music one can think of and more. So with time I realised that David Bowie had inspired as many artists as The Beatles have. In general, if you listen to Bowie’s discography, one cannot help but find similar sounds, references, inspiration in the music done by other artists.

And I also realised some years ago that indirectly he is an important part of my life, too. And in this state of mind one  starts to think… without Bowie, what would they have developed into? Would they be who they are now? Would they have done the music they have done? And would they have touched me so deeply with their music as they have?

Drawing by Helen Green

His death was so sudden. He had released an album just a few days before.  It turned out, only his closest ones knew about his fight against cancer, so for many people it was a shock. And when one thinks of it, for the public, for the fans, he left the same way he had been surprising and shocking with his music. And he was ahead of us, again. One last time. To quote his producer Tony Visconti:

He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life — a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.

There are a few (must-read) articles talking about his last creations (the album Blackstar, two videos and the musical Lazarus). He lived for music through and through. And this is one of the things about music and artists that touches me the most.

Of course, my thoughts go to his family and friends. But also to my favourite artist. I wonder how they must be feeling. And I cannot avoid thinking of how I felt back in 2002 when Marie was diagnosed with cancer or Melissa Etheridge some years later – luckily they are still with us!! – Or when some very dear friend/family member has left. It’s just a void you cannot explain and – at least for me – regardless how much time passes by, it doesn’t go away, it just becomes bearable.

Thank you for the music and the inspiration and also the influence on my favourite artists.

David Bowie inspired…

Here is just a collection of references to David Bowie by some of my favourite bands / artists (that have and keep inspiring me) that have touched me through the years and this last week.

Patrícia has posted on RXB references to David Bowie by Per, who has also been posting videos and interviews these past days:

bowie2bowie7

Of course, Gyllene Tider’s song “Åh Ziggy Stardust (var blev du av?) from 1980 – in fact I hear a bit of Bowie/Ziggy on the Gyllene Tider album.

Joey Tempest from Europe also mentioned some months ago in an interview that David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” inpired him to write “The Final Countdown”.

One of the performances that I remember very well from back in the 90ies was Nirvana‘s “The Man Who Sold The World”. I used to listen to Nirvana a lot back then and I loved the Unplugged from December 93, one of my favourite performances was their cover of Bowie’s song. Kurt’s death was probably the first of my idols leaving us, I remember that void very well, also because it was the time Crash! Boom! Bang! was released and helped me through it (and other issues) and kept my mind busy with other things.

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Melissa Etheridge (listen to her words before she plays!) have covered David Bowie songs this week:

Recently Efva Attling also launched earrings inspired by Bowie, the Ziggy earrings.

eabowie

It has also been very touching to see fans gathering in various cities to celebrate him and pay tribute to him. Not to mention that my wall has been full of David Bowie articles, videos, pictures, for the past week. Belgian astronomers have registered a constellation dedicated to him (you can add your comments here). His album Blackstar has entered #1 in many charts across the globe, including Billboard and UK. Also many of his albums have entered at different # in various charts (for example, 19 of his albums entered the UK charts) too and have been partly the most streamed these days. Just shows the impact of this iconic musician/singer/songwriter/ARTist/actor etc.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Thank you, 2015! Welcome 2016!

2015

Another year, another retrospective!

2015 was once again a year full of releases, concerts, travelling, meetings, happy faces… everything a fan could wish for.

In January we got a sneak peek of the newly built and designed stage that would be premiered a few weeks later. February brought Roxette to New Zealand (finally!) and Australia. Back in February we heard that the new Roxette album would be out in autumn 2015. Well, we already know that the release of the album has been postponed a few times and it seems 2016 will be the year! When? Let’s hope we will get some news in a few weeks. In February, some more dates were announced for summer 2015 too.

In March the big news were that a biography about Marie would be released in autumn. And also that a 25th Anniversary version of “It Must Have Been Love” would be released. The PLECtionary was updated with the latest plecs from the 2015 Australia tour.

In April we got to know who would make our waiting time before a concert shorter and fun: Eskobar! I was personally very happy that Eskobar were chosen as supporting act for Roxette’s European leg of the tour. I have liked this band since early 2000 and it was about time to see them live! It turned out to be a great decision. Roxette fans loved the 3 guys, we hear some have started a fanclub….

The tour in Europe kicked off on May 10th in Milan and took the band to 20 countries (including Faroe Islands!) with a total of 36 concerts between May and August (including a cancelled one in Mainz) plus 2 corporate concerts, one in September in Poland and one in November in Stockholm. The cover of Marie’s book was revealed and we published an interview with Pelle and Eskobar.

Also we found out that Roxette Diaries – a documentary of Roxette done by Jonas Åkerlund with old recordings from late 80ies and early 90ies – would be released soon. The premiere took place in Göteborg in August and later on, it was revealed that the documentary will be released on DVD in March 2016.

In June Roxette visited Dublin, Trondheim, Ostrava, Sofia, Warsaw, and started the “mini-Germany” tour (in total 8 shows, plus one that was cancelled) in Cologne. Also this month the “The Look” remake was announced.

The (digital) new version of the super hit was released on 17th of July, right on time when Roxette was about to bring the tour to Sweden. The remake was recorded as part of Kappahl’s campaign and remixed by Addeboy vs Cliff. A video of the making of the song was also released. A 7″ vinyl was released later in August.

In August the tour ended in Drammen, Norway, with a very special concert with many fans from around the world. But we would not have time to get bored, since the dates for South Africa were announced. The PLECtionary was updated once again. As we mentioned before, Roxette Diaries movie was premiered on August 14th in Göteborg.

In September the promotion of Marie’s biographyKärleken till livet” started. The co-author Helena von Zweigbergk, visited the Göteborg book fair to talk about the book and give some signing sessions. An interview with Marie and articles about Marie and the book could be found on the major Swedish newspapers/magazines around the time the book was released (October 10th). Roxette played in a corporate concert in Warsaw, which despite the difficulties to get a ticket, some fans managed to attend. Also “Some Other Summer” by Sebastien Drums was released. This song is actually composed by Per, and the single released by Sebastien Drums is even sung by Per (and a few backing vocals by Marie). According to Per, the “original version” of “Some Other Summer” will be included in Roxette’s upcoming album.

More 2016 tour dates were announced in November. To our surprise… for Europe! Everybody was expecting South/North America, and maybe a handfull of shows in Europe. But so far we already counted 11 concerts, and rumours have it that there are more to come! According to the information available so far, the first concert we know of will be on June 3rd in Switzerland. The last one on the list is on September 11th, in Moscow. Tickets for all the shows are already on sale, so hurry up! Roxette gave the last concert of the year at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, a corporate concert for Tele2 (telecommunications operator) customers and other invited guests.

Marie gave a signing session in Stockholm on December 5th. On the same day, an interview with her and Helena was broadcast on TV4 Nyhetsmorgon. Many fans travelled to Stockholm for the chance to say hi to Marie and get the book  signed personally by her.

As I am finishing writing this article one thing (Aretha Franklin’s performance yesterday at Kennedy Center Honors, if you are interested) brought me to another (Aretha’s influence on Marie, which made me think of I Never Loved a Man) and I ended up listening to Roxette’s MTV Unplugged from 1993. Yes, recorded almost 23 years ago!

If one would ask me what would make the 30th anniversary of Roxette in 2016 very special my answer would be, loud and clear: an (or more) unplugged show.

Of course, looking very much forward to Roxette’s tour in Europe, something that came very much unexpected. And one can only feel thankful. That is the world I would choose for all what is happening. I am thankful it IS happening and I can experience it. With a small break in between in 2013, we have been able to see Roxette live almost every year since 2009.

What will happen in 2016? Here is a schedule of what we know so far:

  • January / February: Roxette to tour in South Africa
  • March: Roxette Diaries released on DVD.
  • June (?) – September (?): Tour in Europe is planned
  • Roxette turns 30!
  • Somewhen in 2016: a new album should be out soon. Per mentioned some days ago on FB that it’s almost done! (and Christoffer is very busy mixing!)

A big thanks once again to all of you reading us, sharing our articles (thanks Per!), joining our discussions on FB, for the hints, sharing your experiences in articles on our website.. thanks for your support! And from me big thanks to the RXB team, it wouldn’t be possible without you! We’ve had some issues this year with the servers (especially because the site doesn’t stop growing) so I’ve been kinda busy trying to solve that and some other tech-stuff in the background, so I feel so lucky to count on such a great team, thank you Patrícia, Kirsten, Tomasz and Sascha for the articles, brainstorming, ideas, laughs, meetings, experiences etc etc.

Happy new 2016 to you all!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Roxette to perform at Stars of Sounds festival

Ticketcorner notified those who asked for a ticket alarm that Roxette will perform at Stars of Sounds festival in Switzerland next year. The concert will take place in Murten, on 3rd June. Tickets are already on sale HERE.

 

Roxette_Emmelie Aslin

Photo by Emmelie Åslin

Thanx for letting us know, Nicole Joos!

 

Tags: , , , ,

Sold out Roxette gigs in South Africa

The South African leg of Roxette’s XXX tour was announced in August with 4 concerts, but already in October an extra date had to be added, because Cape Town on 7th February became sold out. The extra date is 8th February and it’s the same venue in Cape Town, just the arena will be fully seated for the 2nd show.

Today Big Concerts not only announced that the support act joining Roxette will be Watershed, a South African acoustic rock band from Johannesburg, but also the fact that the tour leg opening concert in Johannesburg is also sold out.

So 2 shows out of 5 are sold out! Sounds great and there is still time to buy tickets for the other 3 gigs to make them sold out as well. 😉

ROX_SouthAf_sold-out

 

Tags: , , , ,